A man's shadow falls over a bomb with a timer.

A New Wait: My Skin Cancer Scare

The extraction of my tooth had barely registered when the dentist leaned down and said, “Have you had that spot on your nose long?” Without waiting for a response, she continued, “My dad had a spot like that and it was skin cancer. I see in your chart you have had cancer. I am not a dermatologist, but if it were me, I would have that looked at sooner than later.”

She was not done

I took in a breath, prepared to respond only to realize she was not done. She leaned in again, as if proximity would yield heretofore unknown knowledge of the offending spot, “Yes, I would have this looked at soon. My dad did very well when we caught these spots early. Not so much when he ignored them. I’m no dermatologist but I would...here, let me write you an order for a follow-up with your family physician.”

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

A bomb dropped on me out of no where

A hasty swipe of a pen. The tear of a sheet of paper from a pad and she was off. I have no memory of a time I was happier to see a human being leave my reach. 30 seconds, 45 tops, and I was unhinged. She was a total whirlwind. A tornado, without warning, no warning siren, no signs in the sky. Nothing, just an unprovoked BOMB!

I want to forget cancer

On a cerebral level, I get the concern and the willingness to step up and make the hard announcement. I want to commend her and thank her. Nope! I want to tell her to stick to my teeth and mind her business. I don’t want to be on this hamster wheel again. Really, I want to forget cancer and testing and possible outcomes. I want to be naive and blissfully ignorant.

I want to go home

I want to make it out of the clinic without tearing up. I want to go home and...I don’t know, but I want to be home, safe and quiet. The nurse knows my wife Janet and me and offers to call her and tell her about the need for a doctor’s appointment. I could have done it, but I handed her my phone and said, “Thank you.”

By the time I got home, the appointment had been made. 5 PM the following night, I would be sitting in yet another doctor’s office waiting to hear if this dot on my nose was going to be something or nothing.

The wait felt long

I didn’t sleep well, tossing and turning all night. Work went slow. Luckily, I drive and so I have plenty to focus on. The day seemed long, but I made it through and headed home for a shower and some clean clothes. Before I was ready, it was time to go. Janet came with me and brought the grandbaby for moral support.

Doc had a look and then a second and third. “I don’t know, maybe, maybe pre-cancer, maybe nothing. I think we will do a biopsy and be safe.” Nothing like a rock-solid, definitive, shoulder shrug.

Now I wait

Now I mull over all of the possibilities and outcomes. Most of all, I just hold my breath and wait. This is where “Cancer Sucks” becomes personal.

I will wait and hope and...wait.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.